Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

Plasma is the liquid portion of blood and consists primarily of water, proteins, and growth factors. Plasma serves as a reservoir for red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets to circulate through the body. Platelets are blood cells that help to form a blood clot in an effort to stop bleeding. They are also necessary for the body to naturally heal itself via platelet activation.

In the past several years, medical research has shown that the body has an innate ability to heal itself. Platelet-rich plasma therapy allows the body to heal tissue that has been damaged, acutely or chronically, by amplifying the natural growth factors your body produces and injecting them directly into the injured tissue.

PRP injections are prepared by drawing approximately one tube (10mL) of your own blood in clinic and spinning it through a centrifuge machine for approximately 5-10 minutes. This will allow the blood to separate the plasma portion, with the platelets and growth factors, from the other components of whole blood. These activated platelets are then injected directly into your injured or diseased body tissue under direct ultrasound guidance. This will then release growth factors that stimulate and increase the number of reparative cells your body produces.

Common Conditions treated with PRP:

  • Tendon injuries: such as rotator cuff muscles, tennis elbow, or Achilles tendonitis
  • Acute injuries: pulled hamstring muscles or knee sprains.
  • Osteoarthritis: affecting the shoulders, hips, or knees
  • Post-surgical tissue repair: PRP has been used to support the healing process of
    certain types of tissue damages, such as, a torn tendon or torn ligaments.
  • Hair loss: PRP has also been injected in the scalp to stimulate hair growth.

Some of the key advantages of PRP injections are that they can reduce the need for anti-inflammatory pain medications or stronger pain medications such as opioids. They may also eliminate the need for repeat steroid injections into damaged soft tissue or joints. Furthermore, there are very few side effects of PRP injection therapy as the platelets and growth factors come from your own blood! There is no chance for your body to react negatively or reject it since it is not coming from another donor.

To learn more about whether PRP injections are right for your particular condition, please contact Interventional Pain and Spine and schedule an appointment.